Transform Your Yard Into A Hummingbird Haven With This Flowering Plant

Your garden may be filled with beautiful flowers that attract butterflies and bees, but what about hummingbirds? How can you attract them? Hummingbirds search for nectar in flowers by sight. So, it makes sense why they flock to red and orange blooms (sometimes yellow). But they're also attracted to tubular flowers. The firecracker plant, also called a Cuphea or cigar plant, is a tropical flowering plant with many blooms. Due to its bright red color and tube-shaped flowers, it's one of the best plants you can grow to attract hummingbirds.

This plant comes in different types, colors, and varieties. One such variety is the Vermillionaire, which you can find online at Proven Winners Direct for around $10. This 4.25-inch plant is fast-growing and reaches between 1.5 to 2 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide. Another variety is Honeybells, which is available online at Burpee for $25. The 4-plant bundle is heat and drought-tolerant and blooms yellow and red flowers throughout the summer. These plants offer gorgeous showy blooms throughout most of the year, from summer to the last frost, giving your garden a fantastic pop of color while attracting these mystifying birds.

Why do hummingbirds like firecracker plants?

From the vibrant Starfire Pink blooms to the intense, fiery red-orange of the David Verity, hummingbirds seem to love all types of this plant. Other varieties come in colors ranging from purple to deep red and vary in size, growing between 2 to 3 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide. Most have a bushy, round, and dense growing habitat with pointed dark green leaves offering interest and texture even when they're not blooming.

The firecracker plant is low-maintenance and naturally gets rid of spent blooms. This means no spending hours on deadheading to remove old-growth flowers. This plant can provide a crucial nectar-rich source for hummingbirds, turning your garden into a hummingbird paradise. What's unique about the flowers is that they are perfectly shaped for their beaks and tongues. These 3-inch birds can get nectar from these flowers, whereas many pollinators can't. Their long bills and pump-like tongues allow them to feed on nectar from these flowers successfully.

What plants go well with firecracker plants to attract hummingbirds?

Planting a colorful garden with blooms similar in shape and color to the firecracker plant can help attract these tiny birds. Amongst the sea of scarlet red flowers, consider incorporating other tube-like flowers and those with the same pink and red hue. Similar tubular flowers like penstemon, hosta, catmint, Agastache, trumpet honeysuckle, and salvia, rich in nectar, attract hummingbirds. While red canna lily, zinnia, cardinal flower, eastern red columbine, sage, and lantana are within the vibrant palette of colors hummingbirds are drawn to – ranging from crimson to deep orange. 

The firecracker plant is a perennial, meaning it comes back every year in USDA Zones 8 and higher. It can still grow in zones under Zone 8 but will be considered an annual, meaning it has to be replanted every year or taken inside in the winter. Some of these plants also do well in similar zones to the firecracker plant, like canna lilies and lantana, which are perennials in Zones 9 and above. Try adding a mix of these red and pink tubular flowers this year to turn your yard into a hummingbird haven.